Army Says Sorry Over Mass Email Claiming MAGA = ‘White Supremacy’
The United States Army claims they made an error in an email sent after the 4th of July to military and civilian members. In the mass email, it included a graphic that said the phrase “Make America Great Again” equates to “white supremacy.
In the graphic, it listed behaviors that the Army deems to be symbols of white supremacy, including, “Celebration of Columbus Day,” the “Denial of White Privilege,” “Talking about ‘American Exceptionalism,’” and saying “There’s Only One Human Race.”
The email asked “all soldiers and (Department of the Army) Civilian Personnel” to attend the US Army’s “Operation Inclusion” seminars on July 8 and 9 at the Redstone Arsenal Army Base in Alabama. Chaney P. Pickard from the US Army Aviation & Missile Center sent the email using his official government account.
The subject of the email was “US Army Equity & Inclusion Agency” and listed the “Assistant Secretary of the Army — Manpower and Reserve Affairs” as authors.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) slammed the email saying it was “deeply offensive and racist U.S. Army ‘Operation Inclusion’” and he demanded whoever used government resources to distribute the email be fired and prosecuted.
Brooks correctly stated that the email was a clear violation of the Hatch Act, that bans government personnel from engaging in political activity while at work.
A U.S. Army employee on Monday sent an email invite to likely thousands of military and civilian members for a U.S. Army ‘Operation Inclusion’ listening tour, which included a graphic that said saying “MAGA” is evidence of white supremacy. The Army says it was “sent in error.” pic.twitter.com/NUvm0lMVMh
— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) July 9, 2020
Brooks has sent a letter to US Amry Secretary Ryan McCarthy demanding an investigation.
“Numerous Redstone Arsenal employees have expressed outrage to me about the U.S. Army blatantly violating the Hatch Act and, in effect, labeling patriotic Americans ‘White Supremacists’ and racists if they say or do dozens of things outlined in the U.S. Army email,” he said.
Brooks asked McCarthy to answer the following:
1. Who within the Department of the Army is responsible for the creation of the email and document?
2. Who within the Department of the Army approved the email and document?
3. Pursuant to the creation and approval of the document, was there a violation of either the Hatch Act or DoD Directive 1344.10?
4. If a violation of the Hatch Act or DoD Directive 1344.10 is found to have occurred, will those responsible be held accountable for their actions?
5. If it is found that a violation occurred (which seems pretty obvious), how will those federal employees be held accountable for their illegal conduct?
The Army admitted they sent the letter but claimed it was an accident and “immediately recalled” it. An official internal investigation has been launched to find out what happened:
On July 6, 2020, a Project Inclusion listening tour handout included two unapproved pages that were sent out in error and immediately recalled. The slides – copied from a non-government website – included a word cloud with phrases that were intended to spark conversation; however, the document was predecisional and inappropriate for the discussion. The unapproved pages were in no way used as part of the ‘Your Voice Matters’ listening tour sessions.
As soon Department of the Army leaders were made aware of these products the Army initiated a 15-6 investigation to determine how this happened. The Army does not condone the use of phrases that indicate political support. The Army is and will continue to remain an apolitical organization.
We are not just in danger of losing our police departments, if this is the material the United States Army is passing around we are going to lose our great military as well.